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A country residence in Dumfries & Galloway has become the first accommodation provider in the region to receive a 5 Star Gold award from the national tourism organisation.
Nithbank Country Estate in Thornhill, has achieved 5-Star Gold B&B, the highest possible award in the world-renowned VisitScotland Quality Assurance grading scheme, the first for an accommodation provider in Dumfries & Galloway.
The country residence is set within an eleven-acre estate, featuring ancient woodland, river frontage and breathtaking views. Located within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, it has an outstanding commitment to responsible tourism. Nithbank features as a ‘UNESCO National Trail’ case study which shines a spotlight on green-accredited businesses that demonstrate UNESCO key values. It is also the only B&B in Dumfries & Galloway to hold a GOLD Award from Green Tourism.
VisitScotland’s 5 Star Gold Quality Assurance award recognises serviced accommodation businesses which achieve the highest levels of excellence. Businesses that achieve the award demonstrate outstanding hospitality and customer service delivered over an extended period of time and show a clear commitment towards quality and responsible tourism.
Melanie Allen from Nithbank said:
“We are delighted to have achieved the prestigious 5 Star Gold Award from VisitScotland. This award demonstrates our commitment to providing a quality luxury experience for guests and also our commitment to consistency in exceptional customer service. Our many accreditations and awards showcase our determination to create a visitor experience which evidences the provenance of Nithbank as a destination.
We would like to thank VisitScotland for their support throughout this process, since opening just prior to Covid, it has not been an easy journey but we hope in recognition of this award it will provide a much needed boost to our business, we can inspire more visitors and grow our reputation combining ‘world -class excellence’ in a ‘world-class environment’.”
VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme has been refreshed in line with the changing landscape, and in consultation with industry, to continue to provide a trusted, relevant and impartial source of information for visitors, as well as the businesses taking part.
VisitScotland has recently undertaken a pilot programme of visits to test the new procedures, health and safety protocols and risk assessments which have been introduced since the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a key first step towards the return of in-person grading visits for all members, which is expected to resume later this year.
VisitScotland interim Regional Director Annique Armstrong said:
“Congratulations to the team at Nithbank on this well-deserved 5 Star Gold Quality Assurance award, a welcome boost to tourism across the South of Scotland and testament to the exceptional visitor experience on offer.”
VisitScotland Quality Assurance Engagement Manager Angie Fowler said:
“The impacts of COVID-19 have led to visitors looking for extra reassurance, with an emphasis on providing a safe, clean and welcoming experience. We have been able to adapt our approach to offering specialist support to businesses throughout the pandemic and we look forward to being able to resume our in-person visits later this year.
As many businesses prepare for the summer ahead, our Quality Assurance scheme can help us drive up standards across the industry, raising the bar. Our Stars represent world class excellence – helping businesses shine, enabling visitors to make informed choices and driving up investment in quality.”
Ross McAuley, the Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA), said:
“This well-deserved award is a great testament to Nithbank’s commitment to giving guests an outstanding experience, and also to the excellent work they do to showcase and support the world-class producers and environment around them, which is part of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. It’s a great accolade for Nithbank and we hope it also helps to give holiday makers another reason to consider visiting Dumfries & Galloway and the South of Scotland.”
For more information on Nithbank Country Estate, see here: https://nithbank.co.uk/
For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/visitor-experience/quality-assurance-ratings
Highest quality grading for South of Scotland Band B